President Obama published an op-ed in my college town newspaper, Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star, over the weekend calling for more enforcement of current gun laws.
“It's been more than two months since the tragedy in Tucson stunned the nation. It was a moment when we came together as one people to mourn and to pray for those we lost. And in the attack's turbulent wake, Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing, assigning blame or playing politics with other people's pain.”
The president failed to remember the heated political climate just moments after America found out about the situation in Tucson on January 8, 2011, which left six dead and 11 wounded including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering in a Texas rehab center.
Immediately following the shooting, left wing websites and the mainstream media placed blame and responsibility on Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and any other conservative commentator that came to mind, not the mention the entire tea party movement, which was held responsible for the shooting before police had even released the name of a suspect. We now know (allegedly) the person truly responsible for the tragic events that day as Jared Lee Loughner, a crazed and disturbed man who listed the Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books on his conspiracy-filled Youtube channel.
But anyway, let’s move on to the topic of Obama’s opining: gun control.
President Obama used Jared Loughner as an example of a mad man who got his hands on a gun, citing lax gun law enforcement.
“But one clear and terrible fact remains. A man our Army rejected as unfit for service; a man one of our colleges deemed too unstable for studies; a man apparently bent on violence, was able to walk into a store and buy a gun.”
What Obama fails to mention is that Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who by the way also blamed the entire shooting on “vitriolic rhetoric” and called Arizona the Mecca of hatred and bigotry at the time, had multiple encounters with Loughner for issuing death threats to a radio host among other things before the shooting on January 8, meaning Dupnik allowed him to slip through the cracks of law enforcement more than once.
Obama in the op-ed calls for more enforcement of gun laws on the books, saying he wouldn’t be surprised if law-abiding gun owners were in agreement with him.
“I'm willing to bet that responsible, law-abiding gun owners agree that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few - dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example - from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.”
But here comes the ironic part. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms was recently busted for allowing Mexican drug cartels to supply themselves with thousands of weapons used to kill tens of thousands of innocents in Mexico and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Southern Arizona. ATF approved the sales of these weapons after gun shop owners, who were following the current laws, reported the mass sales of weapons such as the AK-47, and ATF gave them the green light. That’s right, ATF was literally watching murderers purchase the weapons they needed to kill people. It is pretty difficult to keep guns out of the hands of criminals when the government gives them the go-ahead.
President Obama also throws out statistics about people killed by criminals who happen to use guns every year in his comments but fails to mention that number has been reduced and why it has been reduced, mostly likely because the answer is inconvenient to his anti-gun agenda and ideology.
The president has a habit of opining on topics before having the facts, so let’s present him, and other anti-gun advocates, with a few:
-Murder rates decline when more men and women carry concealed handguns, reducing the rate of murder of a woman by 3 to 4 times
-States that do not allow citizens to obtain concealed weapons permits have higher crime rates than states that do allow concealed weapons permits
-The District of Columbia’s murder rate dropped by 25 percent after the 2008 Supreme Court struck down the DC hand gun ban
-Since the 1982 implementation of the hand gun ban in Chicago, the murder rate has gone up 32 percent by 1992 and was up 68 percent by 2002
The National Rifle Association and law-abiding gun owners have never advocated for mentally ill individuals and criminals to get guns, and infringing on law abiding citizens’ right to bear arms is not the way to prevent crime. The NRA has been behind the instant criminal background check from the beginning and advocates for law enforcement to take bad guys off the streets to prevent crime.
What President Obama needs to realize is that bad guys don’t get guns because of the incompetence of law-abiding gun shop owners or even the NRA -- they get them through the incompetence of government officials like Sheriff Dupnik and ATF.
To his credit, Obama did acknowledge “almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible;” however, he’s preaching to the choir with that statement.
President Obama sounds like he is willing to come to the center on the gun-control issue, but as a man who has not backed off on his belief “the assault weapons ban makes sense” and with an attorney general who agrees, it’s hard to believe his call for “better enforcement of our current guns law” is really what he is aiming for here.